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Career Story: Project Manager For A Financial Planning Company

Project Manager For A Financial Planning Company

Job Title: Project Manager

Type of Company: I work for a financial investment firm that manages mutual funds and services personal investments and 401K and 529b plans as well. We also provide financial planning services.

Education: BS, Accounting, Bryant College (Smithfield, RI) •• MBA, Bentley College (Waltham, MA)

Previous Experience: I've worked as a project manager in the IT departments of several companies over the past fifteen years. These companies have been in the financial, consulting and software businesses.

Job Tasks: I report directly to senior management and am responsible for managing a wide range of security and financial IT projects. I manage multiple high visibility projects simultaneously. I work with members of our senior leadership team to develop integration strategies, prioritize development efforts, and execute our roll-out plans.

I have managed a wide range of information security projects and created technical specifications, maintained project schedules and hired many business analysts and project managers to my teams.

I have led several initiatives involved in implementing a strategic offshore solution. These projects resulted in $15M annual savings and a more productive global presence integral to my company's IT efforts.

I have managed client relationships with large clients and organized cross-matrix teams to resolve major issues and get client approval to move them to standard customer support operations. These solutions contributed to a high customer satisfaction rating for our team.

One time, I managed an extremely hostile team and implemented new processes to integrate this newly acquired business unit. These efforts resulted in $2M in savings for my organization and got me a nice bonus. :-)

I am most often assigned to fix projects where other project managers have failed. I then resolve complex issues that can be very very challenging at times.

So, as you can see, depending on the project I am assigned to, my work can vary widely.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the variety that comes with being assigned to new projects. As a technical person, I enjoy getting assigned to a project that requires me to program. For example, I developed a resource management tool that became a central tool for senior management. I also love problem resolution. Most people shy away from it. Recently, I was a team manager and change agent for an internal security project where I directed 25 people. It was my job to address personnel changes, introduce process improvements, and work closely with the team to encourage team building strategies.

I hate writing status reports that no one reads.

Job Tips:
1. Get your Project Manager Program (PMP) certificate.

2. Learn to be team builder. Listen first always. Speak only after having thought out what you will say.

3. Write every email as if it was to be made public to the entire company. Check for spelling, form and accuracy. If you can't do that, then don't send the email.

4. Know your company's policies. Ignorance of the law -- or in this case, a policy -- is no excuse.

5. Keep yourself current with the new development tools.

Additional Thoughts: Take your job seriously. Many young people don't "get it" till their third or fourth job. By then, they are wiser but also older. Get wise younger and reap the benefits sooner.

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